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Better Business Bureau: Check out firms before you buy your Mother’s Day gifts from them

Facts and figures on moms for Mother’s Day 2012

Lisa Cecilia Rafa Mother's Day

By Rita R. Robison

The average person celebrating Mother' Day is expected to spend $153 on gifts, up from $141 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $18.6 billion, the National Retail Federation said in a statement.

Consumers will give mom special meals and/or outings, clothing, electronics, flowers, and more. Two-thirds will buy flowers, spending a total of $2.2 billion, and nearly one-third will treat mom to a new blouse or sweater, spending $1.6 billion on clothing and accessories.

Those buying electronics, 13 percent, will spend a total of $1.6 billion on tablets, digital cameras, and more, and more than half of all celebrants will treat mom to a nice dinner or brunch, spending $3.4 billion. In addition, consumers will spent $1.8 billion on gift cards and $1.3 billion on personal services such as a trip to a day spa.

Mobile and tablet owners will keep an eye out for deals this Mother’s Day as nearly four in 10 smartphone owners and just over half of tablet owners plan to use their devices to research products/compare prices, redeem coupons, look up retailer information, and purchase gift items.

For who American mothers are, the U.S. Census Bureau offers these statistics:

How many mothers

85.4 million

Estimated number of mothers in the United States in 2009.

4 million

Number of women between the ages of 15 and 50 who gave birth in the past 12 month.


Percentage of 15- to 50-year-old women who were mothers in 2010.


Percentage of women who had become mothers by age 40 to 44 as of 2010. In 1976, 90 percent of women in that age group had given birth.

How many children


The total fertility rate or number of births in 2009 per woman in Utah (based on current birth rates by age), which led the nation. At the other end of the spectrum is Vermont, with a total fertility rate of 1.6 births per woman.


The percentage of the 37.8 million mothers living with children younger than 18 in 2004, who lived with their biological children only. In addition, 3 percent lived with any stepchildren, 2 percent with any adopted children, and less than 1 percent with any foster children.


Percentage of all women age 15 to 44 who have had two children. About 47 percent had no children, 17 percent had one, 10 percent had three, and about 5 percent had four or more.

Recent births

4.13 million

Number of births registered in the United States in 2009. Of this number, 409,840 were to teens 15 to 19 and 7,934 to women age 45 to 54.


Average age of women in 2008 when they gave birth for the first time, up from 25 years in 2006 and 2007. The mean age from 2007 to 2008 reflects, in part, the relatively large decline in births to women under age 25 compared with the small decline for women in the 25-39 age bracket.


Percentage of mothers with a birth in 2010 who were in the labor force. This decreased from 57 percent in 2008.


The percentage of mothers who had given birth in the past 12 months who had a bachelor's degree or higher. Among states, New Hampshire had the highest percentage of recent mothers in this category with 48 percent. Mothers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maryland also had percentages higher than the national average.


Percentage of women age 15 to 44 with at least a high school diploma who gave birth in the last year. For women age 30 to 44, the figure was 90 percent.

Jacob and Isabella

The most popular baby names for boys and girls, respectively, in 2010.



Number of births in the past year per 1,000 women age 15 to 44 with a graduate or professional degree. The number per 1,000 for women whose highest level of education was a bachelor's degree was 59.7.

Stay-at-home moms

5 million

Number of stay-at-home moms in 2011 — same as in 2010 and down from 5.1 million in 2009 and 5.3 million in 2008. In 2011, 23 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15 had a stay-at-home mother, up from 21 percent in 2000. In 2007, before the recession, stay-at-home mothers were found in 24 percent of married-couple family groups with children under 15.

Compared with other moms, stay-at-home moms in 2007 were more likely:

  • Younger – 44 percent were under age 35 compared with 38 percent of mothers in the labor force.
  • Hispanic – 27 percent compared with 16 percent of mothers in the labor force.
  • Foreign-born – 34 percent compared with 19 percent of mothers in the labor force.
  • Living with a child under age 5 – 57 percent compared with 43 percent of mothers in the labor force).

Employed moms and moms-to-be


The proportion of mothers in 2010 with a recent birth who were in the labor force decreased slightly from 57 percent in 2008.

In 2008, among states with higher than average levels of new mothers who were unemployed, the highest proportions were in Alabama and Delaware, 10 percent, followed by Michigan, Alaska, Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Carolina, 9 percent, along with several other states in the southeast United States.

Single moms

10 million

The number of single mothers living with children younger than 18 in 2011, up from 3.4 million in 1970.

5.2 million

Number of custodial mothers who were due child support in 2009.


In 2010, of the 3.7 million women 15 to 44 years old who had a birth in the last year, 1.4 million, 39 percent, were to women who were not married, who were separated, or married but with an absent spouse.

In 2008, this number was 1.5 million. Of those mothers, 425,000, 28 percent, were living with a cohabiting partner.

So best wishes to moms everywhere. There’s no job more difficult or rewarding than being a mom. What mom’s do every day in caring for their children contributes to the health and wellbeing of our society.

Copyright 2012, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen

Hi Rita:
Please share all of this GREAT information on our new Blogging Boomers' Blog Carnival coming right up! Anne should be contacting you soon!

Laura Lee


A tablet seems to be the best choice this years as mums have gone quite modern lately ;)

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